UK Banks led by the British Bankers Association
United Kingdom

The mortgage markets are in virtual paralysis. People can't buy homes or raise a loan for a car. Businesses can't raise finance for re-investment or to help underwrite cashflow. The entire financial system is virtually in grid-lock. We are all innocent victims of the excessive, irresponsible and greedy behaviour of the banks over the last few years.

Our High Street Banks loaned against 'assets' and 'mortgage-backed securities' which were worth only a fraction of their value at the time and they knew that. But no-one in the banking sector dared challenge them because they were all making so much money out of it. In short, they made bad loans with funds that they never had, nor could they ever expect to be paid back. But as the housing bubble grew and grew, not a single bank chose to blow the whistle.

Now with the inevitable collapse of the banking system which has only been prevented by a worldwide co-ordinated approach by the G7 governments, we as tax payers are all left paying for it. We are bailing them out for their irresponsible excesses and their toxic greed. Last month the UK Government approved a £250 billion bailout of the UK banking system, semi-nationalising them in the process. The US Federal Reserve is injecting a further £400 billion to prop up the Banks.

So we all have a significant stake in our banks now - quite literally. And yet these same institutions are the ones that are now hounding us for re-payment of our debts and making it virtually impossible to get a loan - be it for personal or business use. The Banks are using increasingly aggressive tactics to come after our comparatively tiny debts and in some cases are forcing their own customers to even sell their homes.

Businesses on the other hand cannot operate without liquidity and they desperately need finance and improved overdraft facilities to ease cash-flow and continue operating. Without that basic ingredient they cannot pay their staff and therefore the country is facing the imminent prospect of hundreds of thousands of job losses. One forecast puts total worldwide job losses at a staggering £20 million as a result of this crisis.

Despite interest rates being axed to just 3%, many of our banks rushed to pull discounted mortgage products from their catalogues. Other banks had to be FORCED by Downing Street to reduce their standard variable rates for customers as their reluctance to help businesses and consumers becomes ever-more evident.

Now, in these economically challenging conditions, is the time for Banks to stand-by their customers and deliver when it really matters. Banks need to realise their obligations to us as stakeholders; to safeguard peoples' jobs, homes and livelihoods. Any failure to do so will bring our country to its knees and create unimaginable misery for millions.

We, the undersigned, call on the British Bankers' Association to instruct our banks to immediately start lending to each other, thereby safeguarding thousands of businesses and millions of decent peoples' livelihoods.

Your debts have been underwritten by our Government using finance raised through our taxes. We have supported you through the good times helping you to make unimaginable profits. Now it is your turn to help us and therefore yourselves by helping prevent a cataclysmic economic recession.

We hereby urge you to enforce a strict framework which will quickly allow banks to have confidence in lending to each other in a way that will facilitate personal and business finance at levels that will encourage growth and success. But we need to see action Now.

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The Force the Banks to resume normal lending to save our jobs petition to UK Banks led by the British Bankers Association was written by Jason Van Hee and is in the category Business at GoPetition.